New year, same construction frustrations on St. Mary’s Strip

Public works and the contractor hope to have the road finished by March of 2023.

SAN ANTONIO – Weekly status update meetings are held for the St. Mary’s Strip and the first of the new year got heated.

Businesses and homeowners are at a breaking point over the project that broke ground in 2021.

“I want you guys to get it together. I want you to act like you have some professional pride in doing your job,” said Chad Carey, president of the North St. Mary’s Strip Business Association.

The project was supposed to be finished in late 2022. Now, public works and the contractor, Spawglass, hope to have the road finished by March of 2023. Followed by the sidewalk, landscaping, and lighting in the summer.

“Y’all are killing us. I mean first, you took our parking, then you took the road, then you took out the side streets,” said Joseph Griffin, co-owner of Gallery Club.

Many in attendance had lots to say about the progress and current standing of the project.

“I want to stay in business. We’ve been here 22 years. I’m not going to let construction take us out,” said Randi Simpson, co-owner of Gallery Club.

Officials from Spawglass and public works cite a variety of issues for the delays, with one of them being the weather.

“The month of November was a very wet month,” said a Spawglass employee.

Other reasons mentioned included unforeseen challenges with the soil and utilities, as well as a mistake by a contractor no longer on the project.

“There was about 250 feet of sewer pipe that was installed at the wrong elevation,” said the Spawglass employee, as he addressed questions in the meeting.

President of the North St. Mary’s Strip Business Association Chad Carey said he wants accountability and a sense of urgency. Director of Public Works Razi Hosseini tells us it’s a priority.

“Whenever they missed the agreed deadline, we will charge them $1,300 dollars LD or liquid damage per day,” said Hosseini.

City council discussions on financial aid for St. Mary’s businesses are scheduled for next week, according to District 1 Councilman Mario Bravo.

Assistant City Manager Rod Sanchez also sent us a statement:

First, let me thank our local business owners and residents for joining us at our weekly construction meeting. We heard every concern, and the City is committed to delivering the projects that the community needs. The construction on North St. Mary’s is slated to be substantially complete by March — meaning roadways will be open to the public. As planned, the City will finish the landscaping, lighting, and final asphalt paving by this summer.”

About the Authors

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.

Recommended Videos